Eagles girls golfers win season finale against Spartans

May 10, 2011

By Christopher Huber

Elin Skaardal, Issaquah junior, chips a shot to the flag at the par-4 second hole, on the way to scoring 50 on nine holes for second place overall May 4 against Skyline. By Christopher Huber

Minutes before the golf match began against Skyline at The Plateau Club, Issaquah High School golfer Lauren Merdinyan and coach Tom Bakamus consulted their golf pro at Snoqualmie Falls for some advice.

Merdinyan, the Eagles’ leader, was having trouble with her sand wedge and pitching wedge.

Turns out the over-the-phone advice paid off. Merdinyan shot a 42 on the par-36 course, medaling and helping Issaquah knock off Skyline, 265 strokes to 292, May 4 in the final match of the regular season. Last year, Issaquah only escaped with a three-stroke win.

“Coming into it, I knew it was going be a close one,” Merdinyan said. “It was nice to have the sun out there, and The Plateau Club has some tricky greens to read. But I think we handled it well.”

While the Eagles went out on a positive note, Skyline’s top two golfers, sophomore Bryalynn Vowels and junior Shirley Chung struggled to pace Merdinyan. However, Skyline’s Layla Hiramoto finished with a 51-stroke performance, to place third overall. Vowels scored a 55 to take the fourth spot in the overall rankings between teams.

“I was pleased with Layla Hiramoto,” Skyline head coach Erik Hansen said. “She shot the best round of her life. Hoping that will stick with her as we go into districts.”

Merdinyan’s improved chip shots helped her par holes No. 1 and 3, as well as two others, she said. The first two gave her the momentum needed to get past holes like the hazardous No. 5.

“The first and third holes definitely helped get me going,” she said. “I hit drives just as I hoped I would.”

Taking second place overall was Issaquah’s Elin Skaardal, who tallied a 50.

“For Lauren to shoot one of her best rounds of the year on one of the toughest courses in the state was amazing,” Bakamus said. “The rest of the team really played well, and if it wasn’t for a few pretty good shots unexpectedly finding a hazard here and there, we may have had a couple more girls in the 40s.”

Issaquah’s Morgan Young took the fifth spot in the match, shooting a 56. Teammate Jenny Lee finished with a 58. Skyline’s Lisa Gaviglio, Zahra Rehmat and Leah Terry each shot a 62 to round out Skyline’s top five finishers. Both teams and their coaches seemed elated to finally get through one match without donning rain gear.

“It had to be enjoyable for both teams not lugging around an umbrella or wet clothes,” Bakamus said.

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